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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Marley’

The Public Finally Gets Blunt About Weed

Those of us who work in the PR field often eschew political debates, but it is in fact our job to address issues hinging on public perception. Americans’ evolving opinions regarding marijuana and its role in our economy has now reached Wall Street, which means the buzz on Main Street is all about weed, too. (We’ve all learned the hard way how closely the two streets are linked.)

Though marijuana remains illegal under federal law, Colorado and Washington both legalized it for recreational use in November — and Maryland looks likely to follow. Much of the public believes that the legality of marijuana is inevitable — and because we live in a “representative democracy”, there is a chance that policy changes will (gradually) mirror the public’s evolving attitudes.

We also live in a capitalistic society, so everyone from investors and purveyors to distributors and consumers envisions an emerging multi-billion dollar industry as weed goes mainstream. The process will be contentious: Americans have always had a complicated relationship with our vices (just as individuals do), and we will have to find an uneasy middle ground between personal freedom and national/economic interests regarding the green stuff just like we did during the 1933 repeal of prohibition and the push for modern tobacco regulations.

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Adventures in Marketing: Headphones by Snooki

Say you’re promoting a “premium” product with minimal production costs and you want to heighten its appeal to a certain target audience. What do you do? First you label it “premium” or “exclusive”. Then you slap a barely-related celebrity’s name on it and jack up its price well beyond reason. Score!

The latest industry overcome by celebrity endorsement deals is audio equipment. Headphones appear to be the new sneakers–when the $300 Beats by Dre model debuted a couple of years ago, they were the earwear equivalent of Nike Air Jordans. The first question to ask someone wearing Beats by Dre was either “When’s your album coming out?” or “How can I get tickets to the release party?”

Once marketers realized how profitable this racket can be, everyone and his brother (and his brother’s nephew, who appeared on one episode of some reality show) jumped aboard the C-list headphone train. Are they better than iPod earbuds? Do they offer deeper bass and crisper high-end sounds for compressed, low-quality mp3s? Sure–but this is more than a little ridiculous.

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‘Mellow’ Marley Drink Leads to Middle School ‘Zombiefest’

Marley's Mellow Mood Drink It’s not just energy drinks, guys: A group of New Jersey schoolchildren started feeling a little too chill after consuming a few cans of Marley’s Mellow Mood, a beverage whose promoters call it “the anti-energy drink”. And where did they find this illicit substance with its “soothing style, natural ingredients and great taste”? In their middle school cafeteria, of course!

The blame for this completely unforgivable crime against humanity alternately rests with the company that stocks the cafeteria, the individuals who agreed to include the product on the school cafeteria list, and the students who decided to drink several cans of the “100% natural relaxation beverage” before reporting to the school nurse with symptoms of “nausea, headaches, light-headiness, and a feeling of lethargy.” One kid went so far as to call it “a zombiefest.”

All this from a lightly carbonated grape soda with the same ingredients as Celestial Seasonings’ SleepyTime tea? Hmm…

Parents are understandably outraged at the school for selling a drink whose label reads “…may cause drowsiness. Best enjoyed when you are ready to relax.  Do not mix with alcohol.  Not intended for children”, but we’re more interested in this product’s unique pitch. We’ve never come across a soda that claims to “reduce stress and relieve tension, while calming the soul and easing the mind”, and we have to say we’re shocked to learn that Marley’s Mellow Mood contains valerian root, lemon balm, passion flower, hops and chamomile–but no THC.

Now we feel like taking a nap, so we guess we’d have to call the promo campaign successful…

Celebrity PR: Better Off Dead

Finally, tangible proof that there is indeed life after death—as long as you are, or were, a famous celebrity.

The Forbes 2012 Top-Earning Dead Celebrities report is out, and many will be surprised to learn that both Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley have been relegated to the #2 and #3 spots, respectively. That’s right, Elizabeth Taylor snuck into the 2012 lead by virtue of an estate auction which earned a cool $210 million last year. Taylor’s collection of jewelry was legendary, but she also owned works by both Picasso and Van Gogh, and her perfume line White Diamonds remains a top-seller.

The public wants its celebrities to be both exceptional and human, and nothing reminds us of the humanity of the ridiculously talented and fortunate more than death. We all die, after all–and death doesn’t care who we are.

Death can visit us in the shower, on a highway or during a beachside stroll. It has neither remorse nor regret. It simply does what it does when it wants, and dying turns out to be a defining career move for many celebrities thanks to the misplaced nostalgia of an eager public.

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Save the Children Campaign Targets Famine in East Africa

Using heartbreaking footage from East Africa and a soundtrack by Bob Marley & the Wailers, director Kevin MacDonald has created the clip above for Save the Children, which has intensified its fundraising efforts to benefit children starving in Somalia.

The organization’s new social media campaign “I’m Gonna Be Your Friend” (the song is called “High Tide or Low Tide”)  has a website where you can view the clip, click on a link to download the song, and click to make a donation. Bob Marley’s Facebook page also has information about Save the Children’s appeal for help.

There’s also a twitter hashtag, #beafriend, where celebs like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are spreading the word to generate awareness and donations for the cause.

As if this clip weren’t enough, Anderson Cooper anchored his show AC360 from a hospital in Mogadishu last night, reinforcing the great peril that children and families are in and the great need. You can learn more about the dire situation in Somalia by clicking here.

Jimmy Fallon’s Bob Marley Tribute Week Starts Tonight

Today, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon announced that it has scheduled appearances by Rolling Stones former stoner Keith Richards and Lauryn Hill during the week-long tribute to Bob Marley that starts tonight. Richards will be talking up his autobiography and his acting turn in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean film on Wednesday. And Hill will be singing a couple of classic Marley songs on Thursday. Catching a live Lauryn Hill performance, let alone one on TV, is like seeing Halley’s comet – rare and fabulous! Ziggy Marley performs tonight.

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